Photography: Martin Poole, Emma Gutteridge
I had always wondered why we have chicken soup when we’re feeling sick – until I studied nutrition. Chicken contains vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, and adding ginger helps too, as it’s been used for centuries as a natural remedy for its antibacterial properties (which is why lemon and ginger tea is so great when you’ve got the flu). But the key ingredient is the stock, as it helps speed up the movement of mucus (yuck) and relieve congestion, and is incredibly easy to absorb, so you can get all that goodness into you instantly.
2 tbsp butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger 2 bay leaves
500g chicken thighs,
cut into bite-sized strips
big pinch of salt
500ml chicken stock
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
grated zest and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
Heat the butter in a large pot, then add the onion, leek and carrots and sauté for 7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and bay leaves and cook for another 30 seconds. Put the chicken pieces into the pot with a big pinch of salt, stir well and cook for 3–4 minutes until the chicken has browned. Then pour in the stock and the chickpeas, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and a pinch of the zest before serving hot.
Recipe from Madeleine Shaw’s A YEAR OF BEAUTIFUL EATING, published by Orion Books in hardback & eBook on 20 April 2017, priced £20/£10.99